Chavez voices optimism after new medical exam
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Last Updated: Wednesday, November 23, 2011, 11:13
Caracas: President Hugo Chavez, who was diagnosed with cancer in June and later underwent surgery and chemotherapy, said that a new checkup had made him "upbeat" about his recovery.

Chavez, who is seeking reelection next year, was hit with criticism from opposition members during his illness for not releasing full details of his ailment sooner, and for first seeking treatment in key ally Cuba.

The results "make me feel really strong ... and upbeat about my recovery and my disciplined behavior in recovery," said Chavez, naming details such as his recent hemoglobin and leukocyte counts from a blood test.

"I am still pushing myself to move forward and to heal fully. I feel healthy, and I am healthy," said Chavez, in a phone-in interview with a local network.

Referring to his blood test results, he said: "all of those are within normal ranges. Recovery is good. .... I am thankful to God, and to modern medicine."

The president downplayed rumors that his health was worsening, and even went for a 40-minute jog yesterday.

The 57-year-old Chavez has never disclosed the type or severity of the cancer that Cuban doctors discovered in June.

After surgery and four rounds of chemotherapy -- three of them in Havana -- he announced last month that he was cancer-free.

Skeptics have scoffed at the claim, but in recent days Chavez has outwardly displayed more of the same frenetic energy that has been his trademark since he swept into power in 1998.

Chavez, who once said he hoped to govern Venezuela through 2030, is focusing on helping the country's poor as he seeks a third six-year term of office in next year's presidential election.


First Published: Wednesday, November 23, 2011, 11:13

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